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tv   [untitled]    December 14, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PST

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the request. but that was a concern. we did mention that to the project sponsors. and again, it is their program that i think this layout works best for them. >> thank you. i think that would be more my preference to have not just this very large unit in the rental unit on the plan. but i'm open to hearing what the discussion is. commissioner antonini? >> i just think there is a need for this type of thing. there are many families in san francisco who have similar circumstances where they have multiple children, more anticipated and people should be able to work within the stock of what they already own because as we know there has been a huge appreciation in prices and so. if this couple were to give up on this idea and try to buy a home that met
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their needs, it would be much more expensive than it had been when it was purchased in 2007. it might be the kind of thing that drives families out of san francisco. i feel fortunate to have been lucky enough to 30 years ago buy a fairly large house on the west side of town which i couldn't afford today, but the difference in having the space when you have multiple floors with children on one floor and in laws on another floor, makes life more pleasant and more functional especially when you are trying to do some business out of the home too which the couple has. i feel they are meeting the constitutional -- criteria and three out of the five. you
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don't necessarily have to put an elevator in but in a practical sense they are eliminating the dysfunctional features it had and turning it to a more functional house. this is what happens when you buy a victorian and try to make it functional is very expensive too. this is another reason why families will leave san francisco because you don't only to have buy the place, but you have to spend the money to make it functional. i think in terms of what people should be allowed to do with their own property, i think we should not interfere with this. that if it meets even our criteria. if it didn't meet our criteria, an argument could be made. staff is recommending it. it meets our criteria which is somewhat
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stringent and basically 1 unit. it shouldn't make a huge difference. it episode is a -- sends a wrong message to people who have families. people who want to make improvements, they shouldn't be discriminated against. if they want to improve their handout us in -- howe's house in san francisco, they should be allowed to do so. >> commissioner borden? >> here is what i struggle with. i have two problems, one is that you basically are eliminating a unit and another unit and keeping it so tiny that it's a throw away unit. the second thing is they bought a 3-unit building and decided
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they were going to turn it into as close a single family unit as they wanted. this is a struggle. people buy a building and they keep the units off the market and we wonder why there is 21,000 units that are not on the market. because people buy these buildings and they wait and if no one has lived there and we say it's fine. it's hard. i'm not saying i know to buy a single home out right is much more difficult, especially if you have renters there already. i recognize all of those things. but at the same time, it's sort of like, it wasn't the single family home they bought and decided they wanted to make bigger. they bought a 3-unit building and they want to turn it into a one
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1 unit with a tiny unit. but butt that's my struggle personally on this based upon our policies and trying to preserve housing stock and the fact that there are so many affordable units in the market. i feel it's something who bought the building, if it was once a single family home and maybe we can wait 5 years and do the same. that's the challenge i have with it. not specifically per say what the outcome is in terms of the size. we've seen cases where you make it 3,000 square foot unit and give us a studio of 500 square feet. that's the struggle. >> i just wanted to respond to
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a couple of your comments. the studio unit that is in the front of the second floor that is being maintained went from gross square footage loss to 44 square feet. but it gained functionality. it's definitely small. it's 300 square feet. it's a studio and it has access to the foyer and elevator and garage, parking and storage. we are in essence improving that studio unit. i want to make sure it wasn't looked at just sliding this. unfortunately my clients haven't shown up yet, so, they were naive when they purchased this property. when they came to hire us, they said
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this is what we want to do. i went, wow, you are talking dwelling merge erp -- merger. it's a hurdle. there is a clear code intention to restrict this kind of dwelling. i just wanted to respond to those two issues. >> okay. thank you. commissioner antonini? >> yeah, sometimes i think it works the other way. i know a lot of people that have properties of rental units and they keep it off the market because of so many policies with the cities and some are
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afraid to have tenants. if they don't to have realize the income, it happens a lot and it makes perfect sense to me. i don't have those concerns. our family has rental units outside of san francisco. we are not as concerned because we know we rarely ever have to evict anyone. but we are able to do that if it becomes necessary. i guess i can ask the architect that it would be possible to make the secondary unit a little bit larger but you would use your functionality, is that right? >> right. there is a couple of issues going on here which is that program required for a master bedroom that has an on
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suite master bath. it's not huge. with that and a closet and the nature of the building which by the way, it is an 1880 structure. it has approximately three 1/2 foot setback on the north side from the adjacent building. that in and of itself restrict this area. it was not a nice unit, it didn't make sense. it would also require the rejiggering of the existing bathroom and a lot of extra money. there was some trade off with the planning whether the elevator is in or not because that is an expensive item. one of the tactics that you see here we are working entirely
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within the existing building envelope with the exception of the small in fill on the southwest corner and the addition of the elevator has driven the project to have some efficiency everywhere else including maintaining the studio unit in its current configuration with the exception of the front foyer functionality. >> my understanding in calculating the square feet a lot of things don't count. for example if you put a foyer in and it's not part of the unit, the therefore the unit is smaller but it makes the unit more functional. >> for those of you who like to think of yourselves as architect, if you look at drawing which shows the configuration, you walk up the house and there is a set of stairs and there is a porch
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which is about 2 feet deep which is not big enough to stand on and you go up the stairs or go into this tiny narrow hallway. you would enter into this unit into the living room. i think if you like architecture and you look at then 2.2 drawing no. 2, you can see what we have introduced is a foyer for access to the elevator and a more gracious entry to the studio unit. >> commissioner sugaya? >> yes, am i to understand that in the extended family situation that the rental unit is going to be for the in laws.
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>> my client has arrived, one of them. is that okay for them to address that. >> yes. please come to the microphone. >> my name is tom. my wife susan and are the owners of the home. yes. it's our intention now and it has been since we bought the home in 2007 for it to be a multifamily home. my wife's elderly parents would live with us. they are currently staying with us now. my wife is expecting a baby tomorrow. >> in terms of where they are living now do they less invasive -- live in the city? >> they live in california.
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they are planning to live with us. >> commissioner moore? >> if what we heard is correct we are talking about a single family home with the provision of the house being used as a two family home because we are maintaining entrances and plumbing fixtures that they are two independent units. what concerns me is while the unit we are gaining the studio unit might be a better layout. i think the fact that the unit is smaller concerns me a great deal. that is further exasperated by the fact that the larger unit while not excessively large does basically occupy the third and the first floor that requires addition to stairs and
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circulation space that is not required. that is a concern to me because a unit within an older building which has a relative small frontage to the street, is still rather minimal unit even if it's layout is better. it doesn't have more window space, it does not have a look into rear yard or anything. i am concerned that we are really merging 3 units into one for all intents and purposes for the intended use of the house. >> as was pointed out the small unit that exist now 434 and 390 and it's much more functional. you are really still have two distinct units. actually it would be more affordable because that seems to be
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whatever everyone is interested in. if there was a case where this family was no longer at this place and was sold to another family who would up to other space and rent out the lower space, one could believe because of the smaller size of the unit, even though it's a nice little unit, it might be more affordable than a full size flat that would be approximately half the square footage of the existing available floor space. also we are dealing with victorians 25-foot frontages. it's not easy to do. there is additional points of access otherwise you end up with a tunnel plan and makes it difficult for the family to live with the types of things included in those
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early victorians. did you want to comment on the architecture of the design? >> i would like to address commissioner moore's point about the potential of the stair not having to go all three floors thereby creating the opportunity to add the square footage to the studio unit. in fact we need the stairs to penetrate from the garage level to the third floor regardless of whether or not they do not occupy the three floors because they would be going to the garage. so i just want to make sure that is not a -- i think it would be great if we could find an easy way to add more square footage to this unit and we did slice and dies
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it a million different ways. i also want to address the fact that this project independent of our client meets the criteria for dwelling mergers and regardless of how to family is going to use it, it maintains two dwelling units. i don't think it's fair to punish this particular client in terms of their use of the rental unit. >> commissioner hillis? >> i would agree with that. i feel that somebody would come in 10 years and say it's a non-functional unit and ask to merge that to a single family unit. i was expecting when i saw this home in a layout with
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a floor and a second floor unit. i think what we got was as if you were trying to meet their needs in the letter of law. with all the pressure to maintain units. it feels to us a little bit like we are taking 3 units and putting it into a single family home. >> right. in this particular case, this is not an egregious size made family unit. it's 1840 square feet. the unit that is being maintained has a decrease of 44 square feet and increase in functionality. there are many people in san francisco that live in this and love this size apartment and the size of it offers more affordability. >> i'm not against a merger. i just think what we are looking
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at is kind of a bit of a single family. i agree. you show 2 units. but it doesn't read that. i don't think it functions that well like that. i would be open to continue it and having you go back and look at ways it can be reconfigured to make it feel like it's a unit or a studio at the bottom floor. >> sorry. it's not a question. >> commissioner sugaya? >> i do have a question. in terms of the rental unit, for a moment let's say the in laws do move in and are part of the family extended situation, unless i understood you wrong so part of the area that the rental unit can have access to
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it. so there is more vertical accessibility between the older folks and the family? >> also, the both units gain access from the garage level unit. so the elevator goes to the garage. so either unit can come up to the public foyer to the second floor and go into either one of the units. the elevator extends to the second floor. >> right. i understand that. the other question i had because and you raised the -- not the issue but the functionality of the elevator is that the rental unit only has access to the garage via the elevator without having to go outside? >> that's correct. >> thank you. >> commissioner antonini? >> the idea of having the foyer
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on the inside allowing access to the 2 units even though it makes the studio smaller is really a nice feature. the first flat in san francisco when we were first married was in the upper floor of a 2-unit building and instead of having the stairways all exterior, you came up the first stairway and you had an interior area the way you access the two 2 units and it was much more pleasant. it seemed a lot safer, even the stairway didn't count as your square footage, it counted because it was used for going up there. i'm in favor of the project. i don't know that the rest of the commissioners feel that way. we need some specific
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recommendations if we are going to continue this as to what the other commissioners would like to make it more acceptable. i'm sure the architect can make it more platable. >> commissioner moore? >> i would like to ask the architect about the elevator, if it becomes a dedicated elevator which goes from the garage to the level what the way the family lives, i see you will be able to represent a garage space at the bottom. the studio occupant, assuming this is rental would then also be able to go up to the units where the family lives. >> the way the elevator works
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is that you would be able to -- anybody can get on it from the garage level. and anybody can get off it at the second level into the foyer. from there, you then have locked doors into the studio unit or down a hallway which is essentially the master bedroom portion of the larger unit. the third floor, would have a locking mechanism not allowing the studio unit access if it were rental to someone other than family. >> thank you. >> commissioner hillis? >> i would like to continue this to february 6. th. i don't think you are getting it approved today. i don't think us want us to start redesigning
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it. i think you are better off taking the comments and working with staff. i think you get what the concern was up here. you can put it to a vote. you are hearing comments. >> all right. i would really encourage the commission to seriously consider the 1880 age of this particular project and the set backs on the north that severely impacts the flexibility. >> i will make a motion. >> second. >> commissioner antonini? >> from what i will hear maybe there are other comments by commissioners. i guess commissioners are saying they want to see the smaller unit larger to allow for the merger. i'm hearing that. probably at the expense it would have at the larger unit unless there is so the other way. i don't think the foot print is going to change any. am i right in that assumption? >> i would agree.
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>> fine. >> commissioner sugaya? >> yes, to staff, in this case, since there are 2 units, are we looking at one to one parking? >> at this point the parking requirement. the zoning administrator can grant a waiver for the parking, normally it's one to one. i want to interject with the commission that we can do a little additional research on any past decisions for similar type requests that to this one. also i want to add that we struggle a lot with housing and loss of housing and meeting the needs of the city, one of the things the commission should also consider is there are changing housing needs with
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extended families whether they are families with children and boomerang kids and that also can lead to housing that can sometimes result in a configuration like this one. we deal a lot with that in the sunny side area as well. i want to share that with the commission as well. >> i think, point taken that's part of the reason why we are -- not we, but i suppose it will come back to us at some point. the supervisors are looking at legalizing units that are currently illegal. supervisor peskin was the first to float that idea six or 7 years ago. it seems to be circling back. i'm not necessarily against the merger
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from 3-2. maybe part of it is to look at whether or not you can gain space by eliminating a parking space. i don't know if that can be done or whether that has to be a variance. if it improves the situation with square footage with the living space, i think the commission would be in favor of that and maybe you don't want to lose a parking space but the commission from the standpoint of losing a parking space and gaining more square footage is desirable. i don't know if that would be granted. but if it can be, that would be a direction to pursue. another direction to pursue, although the way the floor plan works is not brilliant, but it does work given the program that you have been given by your clients. i
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think that your clients might want, might want to work with them in revising some of the programmatic requirements so it can allow for some additional room for the other unit. we are not going to design it here for you. you are the architect so you can figure that part out. but for the client, the commission is extremely uncomfortable with the way the current layout is. you weren't here in the beginning, but you can listen to the video afterwards if you wish to get some of the comments that were made before you arrived. we on tomorrow night at 8:00 or you can go to your computer and go
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to sfgtv and look at the hearing. there are some things they can pursue. >> i wanted to add is the reason it's difficult to merge units is the only affordable housing stock we have is older housing stock. particularly to rent control and older units, etc. we struggle, we know there is 30,000 units that are off the market and people buy buildings knowing they are 3-unit buildings and they want to merge the units and that's how we slowly chip away. that's the challenge. we are trying to figure out a compromise where we are going to consider allowing you to merge down from a number that you are but still have a unit that is at least a good size standard that will remain at some point on the
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rental market theoretically. our job in the city and county of san francisco is to maintain the housing stock in san francisco and that's where we are coming from. again you you bought a 3-unit building, not a single family home. that is just a fact. actually it's rh 3 and you changing the form isn't condonding. >> it was originally constructed as a 2 story unit. that is what is the prevalent for construction. if this is where we've gone from the 50s to the 60s which had a high incidence of families and lowest i

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